13 February 2015

1.02 Prawn & Chorizo Linguine – Low-Fuss – Rice & Pasta

For a change of pace from last week, this recipe should hopefully show that easy food can be good food too.

The evolution of this dish began about 8 years ago as a fairly basic Garlic Prawn recipe, served with rice or wrapped in a lettuce leaf. It then moved further into Mediterranean territory with the addition of chorizo, chilli, and dry sherry, now being served with crusty bread instead of rice. Little tweaks made here and there over the next year or so finally yielded this recipe.

While it’s hardly groundbreaking, it’s definitely quick, easy and delicious. Perfect for a warm summer night with some chilled White Wine Sangria!


250g raw peeled prawns
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g chorizo, sliced
60ml vodka
400g tin Mutti Polpa tomatoes
300g fresh linguine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved (for serving)

If you can be bothered peeling and de-veining the prawns yourself, go right ahead. I just buy them ready peeled (and thawed – gasp!) from the supermarket. You can choose to keep the tails on or not, it’s up to you, but I have the tail removed so I don’t have to worry about it later when I’m eating.

The amounts provided for garlic, dried chilli and olive oil are all just suggestions. If you want to add more then I won’t hold it against you. If you use less, then you’ll get less flavour. Try to use a good olive oil with lots of pepperiness. A little bit goes a long way.

Feel free to use any type of chorizo you want, just as long as it’s cured. Mild or spicy, it’s completely up to your own preferences. Keep in mind, you’ve already got the chilli flakes for a bit of heat, and dried chilli can pack a punch!

I have specified Mutti Polpa tomatoes for this recipe. This isn’t because they’re paying me to recommend it (although, if you're reading this, I wouldn't say no to some money!). I have tried several different brands and products for this recipe, and hands-down this one got me the best result. If you cannot find this particular brand: it is just tinned, finely chopped tomatoes. You can use normal tinned, chopped tomatoes if you don’t mind it chunky, or just process a tin of tomatoes yourself (without the tin, of course!). You can even use passata (tomato puree) or, if you have no other choice, a jar of pasta sauce. I wouldn’t recommend using fresh tomatoes as they have quite a lot of juice and take longer to cook. When buying any form of tinned tomatoes, it is important (for both flavour and health) that you look for a product with a high percentage of tomato and as few preservatives as possible.

Finally, you don’t have to use fresh linguine if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to use linguine at all (I’m quite fond of papardalle myself). But fresh or dried pasta, the quantity is totally up to you, keeping in mind that dried pasta may mess around with the timing of the recipe. If you use more pasta then each serving will have a lower sauce-to-pasta ratio (which I shall now dub the ‘STP ratio’) and may not result in a high deliciousness quotient (‘DQ’). Yes, I’m kidding… Sort of!


1. Place the prawns, garlic, chilli, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a bowl. Stir, and set aside.

2. Fill a large pot with boiling water, add a few generous pinches of salt, and place onto a medium-high heat. (TIP: If you’re using dried pasta, wait for the water to boil and add the pasta now before continuing to Step 3.)

3. Place the chorizo slices cut-side-down into a cold pan.

4. Place the chorizo pan onto a cold hotplate (that is NOT a contradiction!) and turn it on to a high heat.

5. Once the chorizo slices begin to sizzle and release their oil, turn them over to crisp up the other side. (Remember, the chorizo is already cooked, you are really just warming it up and adding a bit of texture.)

6. Add the prawns to the pan and stir until they have just turned opaque.

7. Pour in the vodka and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. (‘Deglaze’ just means ‘try to scrape up anything that has stuck’ which doesn’t sound anywhere near as pretentious, does it?)

8. Allow to bubble for approx. 30 seconds for the alcohol to burn off OR you can flambé if you feel up to it! (‘Flambé’ just means ‘light the sucker on fire and stand back while swishing the pan occasionally and trying not to burn your eyebrows off’. The French can make anything sound dignified, right?)

9. Add the tomatoes (whichever ones you ended up using) and stir until the prawns and chorizo are coated.

10. Stir in the parsley, then turn the pan down to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

11. Your pot of water should be bubbling. If not, turn it up. Otherwise, add the fresh linguine (or whatever) to the salted water. (If you’re using dried pasta, use this time instead to test the texture as it’s probably been around 5 minutes or so since you put it in the pot.)

12. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet, then drain it.

13. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and mix until coated. (Really, you can serve this however you like, this is just my preference.)

14. Pasta goes onto a plate or into a bowl. Parmesan cheese goes on top. (Not exactly rocket science. Although, I suppose you could use some fresh rocket instead of parsley!)

15. Time to eat!

Serves 2-4, depending on how generous you are. Usually I can get 3 decent sized serves out of this.

A video of this recipe is also available on YouTube - http://youtu.be/O0dMYj0NUSo.

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